Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This and That (Catching Up Edition)

Brandon Mroz landed a killer Quad Lutz at the Colorado Invitational.  With his new programs from Jeff Buttle, Brandon may take his skating up a few notches this season.

Sorry for the lack of updates the past two days, life has gotten crazy busy.

Mackenzie Caquatto was injured on her beam dismount at the World Selection Camp.  There are already those blaming Martha or the camps in general for her injuries.  The truth is that the sport has become exceedingly difficult.  Dominique Moceanu continues to blame the powers that be for every injury at camp, but this one seems like more of a fluke.  There are some truths here--Macko Caquatto's strength is that she is an all-arounder who excels at bars.  She is not an event finalist on bars.  Macko doesn't have the execution, the amplitude or the difficulty to be competitive with the best bar workers in the world.  If she wanted to make the team, she needed to be available on multiple events.  Macko is not the world's greatest competitor, though she has improved over the last few seasons.  She was a feel-good story when she made Olympic Trials and good for her for making a world team.  She is not the type of talent to make multiple world teams.  This isn't 1997 when we took anyone to Worlds.  Macko isn't in the world's best physical condition either.  She did need to do a double pike beam dismount to be usable.  When she did it, she landed short and injured herself.  For some to say she shouldn't have had to do the beam dismount, they're wrong.  The US is not going to send someone to worlds who dismounts beam with a double full.  Macko isn't good enough to be taken for one event.  The only gymnasts taken for one event have been Nastia Liukin in 2006 and Annia Hatch in 2004.  Chellsie Memmel was kept for one routine in 2008.  Macko is just not that level.  Hopefully her ankle will heal and she'll have a successful collegiate season.

Macko is lucky that she isn't competing for Peggy Liddick who would've issued a callous statement that the loss is sad, but we've already more than replaced her.

Chellsie Memmel is supposed to throw her full bar routine at today's competition.  She did parts of her bar routine the other day, but she did not throw the full difficulty she is planning.  It remains unclear if her full difficulty includes a hindorff+pak salto combination.  Should she nail a set, Martha just might tight her to Worlds.  Hopefully, stubborn Chellsie will one day stop doing the jam on bars and stop twisting that shoulder off the horse on that DTY.

Martha and Kathy are going to be downing some booze tonight when they have drunken decisions to make that are reminiscent of the decision to put Sloan or Larson on floor in last year's team finals.  With Maroney, Wieber, Raisman and Sacramone locks at this point, the team doesn't have strong bar or floor options.  They have a girl with herniated discs almost killing herself on a senseless double arabian dismount because her coaches can't code whore.  They also have Alicia, a gymnast fighting her sell-by date, who can't stay in bounds on floor, upgrade or stay healthy.  This may be Alicia's last year of being necessary to Team USA.  Frankly, there are better girls on all three of her events.  Who do they take for bars...Chellsie who breaks? Gabby the headcase on other events which could spread?  Unprepared Sloan?  Inconsistent Anna?   What to do with Shawn Johnson? This will require several bottles of Jack tonight.  The gymnasts have not answered this question for themselves.

Alissa Czisny is planning on competing a Triple Lutz+Triple Toe and a Triple Salchow this season.  Hopefully Alissa has spent as much time with a sports psychologist as she has at the rink, because she still crumbled with medals on the line at Four Continents and Worlds last season.  Let's hope she takes another step forward, but it is difficult for a skater to learn how to compete this late in the game.

DWTS started with a thud this season.  The first team got voted off, yet no one cared.  Derek Hough is back and looks as amazing as ever.  There isn't a standout talent yet, so the cast just isn't seeming that special after getting past the Chaz Bono novelty factor.  Carson Kressley was as annoying as ever---he brings a new meaning to 'gay for pay.'

Laetitia Hubert is going to skate at the ladies on ice show in Atlantic City on December 3rd.  I need to be there to witness this.

The University of Michigan honored Marlie during this weekend's packed football game.  They will be skating at this weekend's Fashion on Ice with Alissa Czisny, Johnny Weir, Jeremy Abbott, Sasha Cohen and Sarah Hughes.  It looks like this Disson production has a hint of a budget.  It could be good, even if the camera will spend more than half the time on Aretha Franklin.  I guess the queen of soul deserves it.  Kudos to Disson Skating for not forcing us to endure performances by Ashley Tisdale or Raven Symone.

Beastly Beth Tweddle has another tumbling pass to take on the world with.  The girl is unreal.

Team China is preparing for Worlds.  The coaches are saying that Huang Qiushuang may be moved up from the alternate position.:

Kanaeva is dominating RSG yet again.  These are videos from qualifying, both of which apparatus she earned gold on.:

Part 2 of Gymnastike's interview with Kim Zmeskal


  1. that quad lutz was sublime. better than most of his triples.

  2. beth is making it very difficult for the judges to fuck her over. They still will like they did to Shawn and Nastia, but it will be hard.

  3. lol, basically, this post says all of our gymnasts aren't good enough to make the World team... Some of these girls are actually going to have to make it. Before this injury, Macko had a great shot of making it just because she can hit a decent bar routine while others either mess up or have a tendency to injury themselves badly mid-routine (Anna Li, Chellsie).

    I personally would have taken Macko to Worlds for just one event, but I agree she needed to be doing a double pike beam dismount though. It's no surprise an injury would come on a skill she probably hasn't done all that much recently. I understand Dominique Moceanu's issues with USAG/Marta, but sometimes I think she is overdramatic and needs to STFU. There's no need to be putting negative thoughts into Macko's head on Twitter. Let's face it, it's questionable whether it was smart of Macko to try to cram in college classes and train down at Florida when a couple extra weeks at home with her elite coaches doing an elite training schedule/conditioning probably would have been very beneficial as she was looking to upgrade her beam dismount. (I'm not saying she was slacking in training at Florida, but even with the best effort, training in a college setting is just different.) Good for Macko trying to juggle so many things but it's puzzling why Florida couldn't wait a few more weeks. I would have taken care of one thing at a time.

  4. Over at IG Dwight Normille wrote a fairly decent post about who he would take to Worlds if he were in the selection committee's place. It's an interesting read.

    I think Moceanu does tend to be overdramatic with injuries and blaming it on the powers that be/Marta. She needs to chill some but I can see her point. This is what the second selection camp for the Worlds team in a few weeks right? It's a bit unnecessary. I think the women's team would benefit so much from doing what the men do and name the team at Nationals. That way I think you'd be lowering the risk that anything would happen to the gymnasts in the lead up to Worlds. Granted there's always a risk because of the sport in general and how difficult it is but these constant camps don't help. Look at Beijing. The women's team was basically taped together! While Macko's injury is unfortunate I don't think anyone can blame it on TPTB/Marta but because it happened at camp people will try that.

  5. I wonder if Macko would have been allowed to compete in the spring if she took the fall semester off? Is there any kind of NCAA rule that would make her continue to take X number of hours each consecutive semester after strating? I think there is a difference in deferring one semester to START later rather than deferring a semester once you have already started. (ie Vaculik is deferring the entire year)
    I think class is the reason she returned to florida. She cant sign up for classes and show up for the first time to class the third week of october. while there are online options etc, I doubt she can only take online classes. who knows. this girl is going to have a hell of a time graduating in six years let alone 5 due to taking super easy/minimal numbers of classes so many semesters in a row...

    don't get me wrong, i'm a huuuuuuge Macko fan. But, i'm just saying. :)

  6. I'm not sure I agree about Macko having to be ready on all events (with an upgraded dismount). While competing in NCAA made have made her steadier and more confident, I would like to think that if someone slated to compete beam went down we would still have a stronger option. And even if she did have to throw a double full in prelims, it wouldn't exactly hinder the US advancing. I mean, putting Raisman up on bars didn't take out the US either.

    IDK, beam just seems like an event that is never really her strong point so it sucks to see her go down on it when she seemed to be doing so well.

  7. The thing that killed me last year about Mroz was his speed. He looked like he was barely moving some of the time. Hope he's worked on that as well...

  8. Mao Asada's new SP for 2011-2012 season is Scheherazade. It's choreographed by TAT.She said in the interview that she wants to portray a different Scheherazade who's Asian and cutesy. It will be interesting to compare her program to that of MK, Ito Midori, and Miki Ando. (I don't even want to say you know who, her bots are SCARY... Besides her Scheherazade was the worst in my opinion)

  9. Beth Tweddle has the best in-air body sense I've ever seen. I often thought that from her bar work, but this floor pass nails it for me.

  10. Oh, my, the Chinese Dragons are hot!

  11. I don't care how good Beth's tumbling is. While I think she is deserving of an Olympic title on bars, I cannot stand her FX. There is virtually no choreo, her dance sucks, and she spends a lot of time just STANDING in the corner before her passes. I apppreciate difficult tumbling passes, I really do! However, there is a reason the sport is called Artistic Gymnastics and not Acrobatics.

  12. @5:02 Mao (and you) must be quite empty-headed if you think that Tat will have any decent program choreographed, and if she does, Mao as usual will make it look stiff, boring, and forced. Btw, Scheherazade IS Asian, and def. not some dimwitted Nihon cutesy, barf! And since you bought "her" up -using her "bots" as a cover, I compared her programs to the others. Only Kwan stands up- Miki and Midori as usual lack any sort of artistry. You're truly dumb.